The Location of Irem and Nemyew

The land of Irem is mentioned in the Hatshepsut reliefs as having chiefs who kneel before her. They, like the Puntites, are not shown as Nubian, but as being reddish-brown skinned. In the eighth year of Seti I (1283 BC), Irem revolted. However, the campaign against Irem was far less serious than any one of Seti’s Levantine campaigns. Seti I, setting off from the Nile, managed to take five wells and 400 people with the use of chariots (not boats, as might be expected for a place inside the Nile Valley). The importance of wells suggest that Irem was a pastoral area outside the Nile Valley. If, as Bruce G. Trigger says, control of Irem was necessary for the control of Amau (an area exploited by Punt), Irem must neccecarily be placed between the Hassai mining area, 18°42′N, 35°23′E, and the Nile Valley east of Abu Hamed and north of Atbara. This location of Irem makes its identification with the Yam of the Old Kingdom all the more likely.

Since Nemyew is mentioned in nowhere but the Hatshepsut reliefs, and its chiefs are portrayed as Negroes, Nemyew should be placed somewhere in the Nile valley above Kurgus, 19°17′N, 33°25′E, and therefore out of Egyptian control.

The Turin Papyrus Map

The Turin Papyrus Map is a geologic map of the Wadi Hammamat, made by the scribe Ammenakhte during the days of Ramesses IV (1153-1147). Its top being oriented to the east and the south, the mines of Fawakhir are shown in the left-most panel. Due to its nature of being on papyrus, it does not show the bends and turns of the Wadi Hammamat very accurately. It does, however show several features, including a shrine to Amun, probably located at 26° 0’15″N, 33°36’27″E, the houses of the gold-working settlement, located at the abandoned gold mine of Fawakhir, 26° 0’44″N, 33°36’8″E, and a mountain bearing gold indicated in reddish-brown and having a stele of Seti I upon it, 26° 0’31″N, 33°35’55″E. The ways to the sea are also marked, the first, going to 26° 1’36″N, 33°37’12″E, goes to Quseir, the second, going to Bir Umm Fawakhir, 26° 0’48″N, 33°35’52″E, goes to the mouth of the Wadi Quei, the third and last, the “road of Tent-p-mer” or “the road belonging to the harbor”, obviously goes along the Wadi ‘Atalla to the seaport of Saww/Mersa Gawasis, 26°33’23″N, 34° 1’57″E. In short the Turin Papyrus Map shows why Ramesses III set off from Coptos, not from Qena, to reach the seaport from which his ships set off to Punt.

The African Coast in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea

The Periplus was written by a Greek author living in mid-1st Century AD Berenice. These are the locations of the cities he tells are on the African coast North of the Cape of Spices.

1. Myos Hormos (Mussel Harbor)-Quseir al-Quadim/Old Quseir, 26° 9’24″N, 34°14’32″E.

2. Berenice-Ras Banas, 23°54’38″N, 35°28’32″E.

3. Ptolemais of the Hunts-Described by Pliny as being near Lake Monoleus, by Strabo, on a peninsula reached just after a cultivated island subject to the inundation, at/near 18°11’41″N, 38°21’15″E.

4. Adulis-near Zula, ruins located exactly at 15°15’43″N, 39°39’35″E.

5. Very Deep Bay-15° N, 40° 20′ E

6. Avalites-Saylac

7. Malao-Berbera

8. Mundus-Xiis

9. Mosyllum-Ceelaayo

10. Little Nile River-11°30’3″N, 49°55’26″E.

11. Cape Elephant-Ras el-Fil, 11°56’31″N, 50°37’57″E.

12. River Elephant-11°58’9″N, 50°49’5″E.

The Journey of Hanno

This is the itinerary of Hanno, who explored Western Libya not in the sixth, but in the early-mid fifth century BC. An average day’s journey shall be assumed to be at 75 miles per day. Consult North African AMS Topographic Maps for details.

Pillars-Rock of Gibraltar and Monte Hacho, the easternmost peaks in the Straits of Gibraltar.

Thymiaterion- Mehidya

Cape Soloeis-considered by Herodotus to be the westernmost point of Libya, it is Cape Geer/Ghir, at 30°38’N, 9°53’W, the only well-wooded cape one can sail east for half a day from.

Lake-somewhere in the vicinity of Agadir, perhaps the mouth of the Oued Sous.

River Lixos- Oued Massa, the surrounding fitting well with the description of Hanno.

Kerne- If we take Hanno’s “small island” and “five stades” literally, Kerne must be the island at 20° 0’40″N, 16°18’8″W.

Chertes(?)-19°52’35″N, 16°18’5″W(?)

Great Mountains-Certainly a textual corruption or mistranlation.

Large, broad river-Senegal

Anchor by some big mountains-around 9°49’39″N, 13°45’46″W.

Immense expanse of sea-Yawri Bay, 8° 5’N, 13° 0’W

Horn of the West-Cape Three Points, Ghana

Island-5°30’N, 5°22’E

Seat of Gods-Mt. Cameroon

Bay of Horn of the South-Corisco Bay. The “Gorillas” are probably Chimpanzees. The Island they inhabited was at 1° 3’26″N, 9°46’9″E.

The Location of Isy

Isy (or Asy) was a land of the West mentioned along with Keftiu in the Poetical Stela of Thutmose III as a country of the West. It was a copper-producing land, which gave to Egypt gifts of lead and bronze (Donald B. Redford, “The Wars in Syria and Palestine of Thutmose III”, page 80), and was mentioned along with Alashiya in several Egyptian texts (Redford, pg. 82). Since it was mentioned along with Keftiu, which seems to be Crete, and since lead and bronze are typical products of central and northern Anatolia, Egyptian “Isy” seems to be the same as “Assuwa”, mentioned in the Hittite records as a league of anti-Hittite West Anatolian nations to the North and East of the heartland Arzawa/Ephesus area.

Mineralogical Study of the Amarna Tablets

Generally, this post will do nothing more than point out the great importance of the work done by Goren, Finkelstein, and Na’aman in their using the type of clay of several Amarna tablets to determine the locations from which they were sent, and show the absolute locations of these locations.

One of the most valuable finds of this work is the discovery of the true location of the Amarna-era capital of the Alashiyan kingdom- either Kalavasos-Ayios Dhimitrios (34°45’3″N, 33°18’10″E) or, more likely, (Kh)Alassa-Paliotaverna (34°45’30″N, 32°55’18″E). Almost equally valuable was the chronicling of the expansion of the Kingdom of Amurru, from a chiefdom on both banks of the Kebir (Syro-Lebanese border) and the mountains east of Tripoli/Ullasa, to a kingdom with its capital at Tell Arde/Ardata, 34°24’30″N, 35°54’53″E, to a monarchy centered at Irqata, encompassing Tell Kazel/Zemar (34°42’31″N, 35°59’10″E) and Tell Asharneh/Tunip (35°17’13″N, 36°23’52″E). If the Egyptians had established stronger bases north of Kumidi (33°37’26″N, 35°49’17″E), their primary Syrian administration center, and founded a major fort at Kadesh/Tell Nebi Mend, 34°33’26″N, 36°31’10″E, the Kingdom of Amurru might have never became what it had.

The capital of king Ba’lu-mehir (EA 257-259), [x-x-i]G-ma-te, has finally been shown to be Jokneam (32°39’52″N, 35° 6’32″E). Ba’lu-UR.SAG’s city has been shown to be Rehov (near Behshean), eliminating Jatt as a candidate for Ginti-Padalla (a disputed city between Labayu of Shechem and Ba’lu-UR.SAG). Ginti-kirmil has been determined to be not at Gath or at Carmel, but at Jatt, revealing what Abdi-Heba was contrasting with “the land of Seir”.

Work such as this should be encouraged and continued. Who knows what other facts might be discovered in the future by petrographical analysis?

Sesostris built no canal…

It is common in literature dealing with the NE Delta frontier and the Wadi Tumilat to speculate of a Pharaonic canal between Bubastis, Lake Timsah, and Arsinoe. However, there is no evidence in the Pharaonic records of such a canal, indeed, there is quite a bit of evidence to the contrary. All known expeditions to coastal Punt (the coast from Suakin to the Gulf of Zula) had their beginnings at Saww/Mersa Gawasis, 26°33’23″N, 34° 1’57″E, from the Middle Kingdom into the reign of Ramesses III (see Breasted’s translation of Papyrus Harris). The journey from Saww to the gold mines of Hammamat to Coptos and down the Nile to Pi-Ramesse would have been utterly idiotic if there was a canal connecting the Red Sea with the Pelusiac. Even sea expeditions for turquoise/chrysocolla (mafkat) were organized in ‘Ain Sukhna (see Hoffmeier, Ancient Israel in Sinai, pg. 39). According to Fouilles de Clysma-Qolzoum (Suez) 1930-1932, a costly and obscure work known only to Walter Mattfeld and Gordon Franz, a fortress of Ramesses III was uncovered beneath Clysma. Suez certainly was Egypt’s primary export port after Darius finished Necho’s abandoned canal.